PSY 121 FINAL PAPER GUIDELINES
Final paper is due Thursday, December 8. Grade will be S (Satisfactory; +1% added to your final grade average) or U (Unsatisfactory; -3% subtracted from your final grade average). Paper must be about 2 complete double spaced pages in length and no longer than 2 ¼ pages in length. Below are the directions.
Each student will be required to choose a psychological concept or topic from what we have covered in class (either from chapter assignments or from class discussions). First, you must provide a clear summary of the topic, including a brief description (in your OWN words) of what psychologists and researchers have learned relevant to the topic. You must think critically about what we do and do not know about the topic based on the research found in the text or reviewed in class. You may choose to have additional references for this portion of your paper, but they are not required. Then, discuss how it relates to a real-world topic of your choosing. NOTE: the real-world topic and psychological concept you choose must relate directly to the course. If the connection to the course seems unclear, make it clear in your paper. That is, you must write about something in the news or something you or a friend have experienced that directly relates to something in class. You must describe HOW it relates. Give many clear examples illustrating the connection. Basically, and most importantly, show me that you have thought critically about it. Don’t just summarize the issue. Tell me how it is related to something you find interesting.
To summarize, here are the instructions on writing a satisfactory final paper:
1. Choose a psychological concept or topic (e.g., depression, short-term memory, classical conditioning, sleep, introversion/extraversion, psychotherapy) from what we have covered in class either from chapter assignments, Taking Sides articles, or class discussions. Explain why it interests you.
2. The topic you choose must relate directly to the course. If the connection to the course seems unclear, make it clear in your paper.
3. Clearly describe the psychological topic you are addressing and provide a brief description of what psychologists have learned about this topic.
4. Relate the topic to a few examples in your own life, the lives of others, and/or an issue that relates to society in general (e.g., something in the news).